The Sauna Experience
Are you ready to be pampered, to indulge and enjoy, while reaping tremendous health benefits?
Here are some basic tips to help you get the best out of your sauna experience.
First and foremost, the sauna is a place to relax. Whether in good company or on your own, allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy the sauna. Try to have no time constraints and have your sauna preferably in the evening after a long day, so you can stay as long as you need to.
The top benches of the cubicle have the hottest temperatures and the lower ones are cooler. The room or cubicle should be warm (between 80°C and 100°C). Always have your sauna in the nude, lying down or sitting on a towel. Get into the sauna only when the room has reached the proper bathing temperature as above.
Begin by pouring water on the hot stones of the stove to moisturise the air. The steam makes the room feel hotter and activates perspiration. Splash more water on the stove if you need to, to adjust the level of humidity in the room. Like the Russians, some Finns use leafy birch twigs to tap the skin to stimulate it further. Birch creates a natural and pleasant aroma in the sauna.
The sauna is generally safe for almost everyone, provided you follow a few simple rules. In the beginning, restrict your session to no longer than 30 minutes at a time, then you can gradually build it up. If you are in good health you can extend the session to 50 minutes.
If you suffer from a chronic condition, seek supervision in the sauna. In case you 're debilitated or highly sensitive to heat, begin with a shorter time (fifteen to twenty minutes). The presence of an attendant or a friend is helpful in this instance.
People with a slow or sluggish metabolism can use the sauna up to twice a day. Morning and bedtime are most appropriate. Evening is the best time if you have a regular sauna. However if you feel excessively weak or debilitated then start with once a week, then work it up. People with a faster metabolism, or whose temperature tends to run high, can use the sauna once or twice a week.
Drinking water while in the sauna is not effective and not really recommended. Drink a glass of mineral water before entering the sauna. Add juice or minerals to your water if it is distilled or mineral free.
It's important to ventilate the cubicle regularly to avoid breathing toxic gases. Some saunas have a built-in ventilation system, but if you use a bathroom or cabin, leave the door slightly ajar.
After the sauna allow yourself some rest to help your body eliminate dead cells and other debris. Drink mineral water before and after the sauna. Ensure the bowels move regularly, as sauna therapy will increase elimination. Rest in the cooling area next to the sauna about as much time as you have spent inside, if you can. Go back into the steam room and repeat the process as many times as you like. Once done, allow yourself to cool down and to dry properly before putting your clothes back on.
Have a warm shower afterwards, not too cold or too hot. If at all possible, avoid using soap, as you'll be more than clean. Soap sometimes leaves a film on the skin, which clogs the pores. A brilliant way to clean up is to brush off the sweat with a skin brush or loofah.
In a small motions brush your whole body, including your face and hair, from the extremities (arms and legs) towards the heart. This procedure is sometimes uncomfortable at first, but will soon feel wonderful, as the brushing enhances the cleansing effect and softens the skin.
Recent research has shown that most common shampoos and conditioners contain an alarming amount of chemicals, which are toxic to the body. Use them sparingly. Choose natural products like olive oil and lavender soap or aromatherapy or essential oils based products particularly after the sauna, when your pores are open and your skin highly absorbent. Lotions and moisturisers also contain harmful chemicals. Go instead for cocoa or shea butter after- bath moisturisers. Don't underestimate the danger of these chemicals. The skin is highly absorbent (twenty minutes to reach the bloodstream), and excessive use of chemical products may antagonise your health.
Drink at least 2 glasses of water to make up for lost fluids and rehydrate your body. Then relax.. and enjoy that wonderfully uplifting after-sauna bliss with a your favourite drink, music, a good book or a peaceful ten minutes catnap.
How long you remain inside the sauna depends on your condition and the time you have to spare. Take it easy initially if you're ill or unwell. Your body temperature should never increase beyond 4 degrees. 50 minutes is a grand maximum. Curiously, you'll notice that on some days you'll sweat more profusely.
These simple steps will allow you to reap the full benefit of the wonderful sauna experience. As you start having it regularly and becoming healthier, you'll sweat more easily. When the body is healthy it dissipates heat more efficiently as fewer cellular toxins remain to be removed.
This is such a blissful experience it's almost a sin... One, that's amazingly good for you! Why struggle and suffer when you can achieve optimal health in such a pleasurable and fulfilling way?
PS: Accumulated toxins age the body because they prevent cells from regenerating efficiently. Louis Kuhne, an early pioneer of hydrotherapy (19th century), particularly recommends combining the sauna experience with the Detox Bath for a highly effective daily detox.
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